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I had to look up what you meant by the Five Elders. They were apparently all Buddhist monks or Taoist so except for one (Fung Dao Dak) who still maintained his own surname, the rest of them really went by their religious names which had no accompanying surname (Bak Mei for example meant 'white eyebrows' but I don't think his birth surname was the Chinese character for White). I was thinking of actual historical people in my answer. Also, when you talk about difference, I was thinking in terms of the character used etc (I agree that some characters crop up in both ancient and modern names such as Sin which meant goodness as opposed to evil, Dak which meant virtue etc. but there are also some used in modern names that would not appear in ancient days such as Yu which meant universe or Ao which meant pride- since modesty was considered a virtue in ancient times, it might be taken as a sign of arrogance to include it in a name whereas in modern days it would be taken to mean that the parents wish the child to grow up to be their pride. And like I said, a bunch of popular names for commoners then have died out in modern days) and the three-names aspect etc. But if by difference, you really mean how do they sound different? Then, I would say in general, little to no difference. What distinguishes the names across the two eras then would be in the subtle nuances underlying the names.